Bull­dogs rout QA’s

North Caro­line im­proves to 4-0

Sunday Star - - FRONT PAGE - By CHRIS KNAUSS ck­nauss@star­dem.com

North Caro­line 55 — Queen Anne’s 7

CEN­TRE­VILLE — The Lions got the start they wanted Fri­day evening. The Bull­dogs got the re­sult they wanted.

Queen Anne’s County High’s foot­ball team opened the game with a 63-yard kick­off re­turn by Taroy Wil­son and a 30-yard touch­down pass from SyRus McGowan to Gar­rett Mur­ray on the first play.

North Caro­line then punted on its first pos­ses­sion. But from then on the Bull­dogs dom­i­nated. North Caro­line scored touch­downs on seven straight pos­ses­sions, and eight of nine, to rout Queen Anne’s 55-7 in front of a stand­ing-room-only crowd at Lions Sta­dium.

Bull­dogs se­nior run­ning back David Bai­ley and his back­field mates en­joyed the ef­forts of their of­fen­sive line, tak­ing ad­van­tage of gap­ing holes in the Lions de­fense for 372 yards on the ground. Bai­ley ac­counted for 219 of those yards, in­clud­ing touch­down runs of 5, 69, and 84 yards.

The Bull­dogs (4-0) scored 21 points in each of the first two quar­ters for a 42-7 lead at the half, putting a run­ning clock in mo­tion for the sec­ond half.

“Our kids played a heck of a game. I didn’t ex­pect this, but we’ll take it. It was a mes­sage game,” Bull­dogs head coach James McCormick said just be­fore an a cap­pella per­for­mance of a few lines of “Sweet Caro­line” from his play­ers.

Af­ter al­low­ing the Lions’ touch­down on the game’s first play, Nor th Caro­line’s de­fense made life mis­er­able for Queen Anne’s fresh­man quar­ter­back, McGowan. Fac­ing con­stant pres­sure, McGowan scram­bled to find open re­ceivers and of­ten ran the ball him­self, only pick­ing up 10 yards on 11 car­ries. One bright spot for the Lions was the elu­sive run­ning of Has­san Big­gus, who, de­spite the Bull­dogs’ dom­i­nat­ing de­fense, gained 63 yards on 11 car­ries.

Tak­ing ad­van­tage of poor punts, the Bull­dogs scored quickly on their sec­ond and third pos­ses­sions. On a four-play drive be­gin­ning at the Lions’ 41, Bai­ley gained 32 yards off left tackle to the Lions’ 9. Two plays later Tyler Bauer fol­lowed block­ers through the mid­dle to cut the Lions’ lead to 7-6. Will Man­ship then kicked his first of seven con­sec­u­tive ex­tra-points to tie it.

“We started with some bumps in the road,” McCormick said. “They had a nice kick­off re­turn, big play, and the thing I liked was our guys never flinched. They didn’t back down. We took the kick­off, drove it down the field, tied the game, and never looked back.”

Af­ter scor­ing their touch­down, the Lions punted six times, turned the ball over twice with an in­ter­cep­tion and a fum­ble, and lost the ball on downs to ac­count for their re­main­ing pos­ses­sions.

A five-play scor­ing drive put North Caro­line in front to stay. Bull­dogs quar­ter­back Cody Pep­per hit Bai­ley deep down the mid­dle for a 36-yard gain to the Lions’ 16. Three plays later, Bai­ley scored from five yards out to make it 13-7 with 3:35 left in the first quar­ter.

On the Bull­dogs next play from scrim­mage, Bai­ley swept left and raced down the visi­tors side­line for a 69-yard touch­down carry with 39 sec­onds left in the first quar­ter.

“I have to give all my credit to my line tonight,” Bai­ley said. “They blocked their tails of f. My wide re­ceiver, Cameron Brown, and all of them, they blocked great. Quar­ter­back made some good de­ci­sions and the coaches made some great play call­ing.”

Queen Anne’s man­aged just two yards on its next pos­ses­sion, and North Caro­line used five plays to score again. Man­ship found run­ning room off right tackle and cut out­side for a 27-yard gain to the Lions’ 35. Bai­ley picked up seven yards off left tackle and Bauer ran up the mid­dle for 15 yards be­fore Man­ship cruised through a gap­ing hole in the right side of the Lions’ de­fense for a 13-yard TD run.

Man­ship found another large hole and scored from 32 yards out with 6:45 left in the first half.

“Will’s a good lit­tle back,” McCormick said. “He makes nice cuts for us. He gets ver­ti­cal. He does things the way we want him to do it. He had a heck of a game block­ing tonight. He had some good car­ries, some good run­ning. And I’ll tell you what, our of­fen­sive line came alive tonight. We had some ques­tions about them and were they go­ing to get bet­ter. They got bet­ter tonight.”

Block­ing on the of fen­sive line for the Bull­dogs were Jack Webb, Noah Schall, Ja­cob Brown, Alex Grable, Jamil Work­man, and tight end Tucker Stevens.

Pep­per con­nected with Brown on a quick out pass and Brown slipped past a de­fender and ran down the visi­tors side­line for a 57yard touch­down to make it 41-7 with a lit­tle over two min­utes left in the half.

The Lions moved the ball 29 yards on their last pos­ses­sion of the first half. But with only 11 sec­onds on the clock, North Caro­line’s Tynez Warner in­ter­cepted a deep pass into the end zone.

With a run­ning clock in the sec­ond half, pos­ses­sions were lim­ited. On the first play of three sec­ond-half pos­ses­sions for North Caro­line, Bai­ley burst off left tackle and ran un­touched 84 yards into the end zone for a 48-7 lead.

“He’s a grown man,” McCormick said of Bai­ley, who is headed to Bos­ton Col­lege. “He’s a heck of a ballplayer. He’s the best kid I’ve ever coached as far as run­ning back and skill guy. He’s spe­cial and we’re just glad that he’s with us and stay­ing healthy right now.”

With re­serves play­ing, Savion Blake ran through the mid­dle and bounced out­side for a 40-yard run for the Bull­dogs’ fi­nal touch­down with 2:34 to play.

PHOTO BY CHRIS KNAUSS

North Caro­line de­fen­sive end Ken­dron Way­man grabs a hold of Queen Anne’s run­ning back Ryan Muller dur­ing the first half Fri­day evening.

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